Kitchen Remodel Part I

As I write this, I am sitting on the futon in our guest room with a pile of pots and pans next to me. I would be writing from our desk, but it is covered with plates, muffin tins, glasses, and an assortment of cutlery and baking utensils. This unusual placement of items is for a good cause–we are redoing our kitchen.

I have hated the yellow countertops since before we moved into this house. Despite my intense dislike of our kitchen, it has only recently garnered a spot at the top of our priority list. After many discussions and negotiations, the time has finally come to tackle this project.

When we were in Arkansas last month, my in-laws generously offered to finance replacing our counters as an anniversary present to us. While cost was not the reason we had not moved forward, their offer reignited the discussion about the relative necessity of updating our kitchen. I was for updates; Henry was against them. My case rested on two points: (1) I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and currently hate it and (2) it will help our house sell in the future. Henry’s argument was that (1) it was currently functional so there was no need to change it and (2) he inexplicably likes the yellow counters.

For most of the last year, I accepted the fact that making the kitchen aesthetically pleasing was unlikely. I may not have liked the kitchen, but when I was honest with myself I knew that updating it was not going to change the quality of my life. Would I enjoy and appreciate the improvements? Of course! But would I be happier? Probably not. But just when I had given up hope of a new kitchen, Henry came around.

Project Kitchen Remodel has officially begun.

First step: paint the cabinets. Up until two weeks ago, I did not have a problem with the cabinets, but (luckily?) the internet helped me see the error of my ways. I was obsessively browsing Houzz for inspiration and realized that dark wood with white appliances does not look good. At all. I thought it was just the counters that dated our kitchen, but it turns out that the cabinets/appliance combination was equally awful. I had failed to focus on this aspect of the kitchen earlier because my attention was always immediately drawn to the ugly bright yellow laminate.

Henry loves wood and was skeptical that of my white cabinet plan. Instead of painting the cabinets, he wanted to refinish them. Normally I am also a wood advocate, but not in this case. If we had stainless appliances I would have happily left the cabinets alone, but our appliances are white, not stainless. White cabinets will make the kitchen lighter, brighter, and more cohesive. Photos like these are what helped to convince me to advocate for white:

Nice wood cabinets + white appliances. Not loving it. (Picture found here.)

Contemporary Kitchen by Chicago Design-build Firms Design Build 4U Chicago

White appliances + white cabinets. Much better! (Picture found here.)

Traditional Kitchen by San Francisco Kitchen & Bath Designers Marina V. Phillips

I also (irrationally?) worked the angle that he may hate them once they are painted, but I hate them now. I figured that either way, one of us was hating the cabinets and he might be pleasantly surprised and actually like the white ones. Additionally, I think future buyers will like the white better than the wood that is currently in place.

After we both slept on it, Henry agreed to give the white a try. Saturday, we took a family trip to Home Depot and bought the supplies. Now we are following Young House Love’s directions and slowly transforming our kitchen. Hopefully ours will look as nice as theirs when it’s complete. Cabinets first, counters next.

So you know just had necessary this project is, here is the before shot:

Ugly kitchen, I cannot wait for you to be a thing of the past!

Rosa Peterson

Rose is the writer and creator of Better That Home, a blog about home design and decor. Rose has been designing spaces for over 10 years and writing home design and decor for big publishers. She has been inspired by many other creatives from around the world and loves to share those inspirations with her readers. Read more about Rose here